Is sex safer in Taiwan or can it be? The alarming increase of STDs and abortions is forcing the Taipei city government Department of Health to take significant action by appealing to teenagers to use condoms during intercourse.
The statistics speak grimly for themselves. In the last year, the youngest case of syphilis infection in Taipei City was just 14, with 17 as the youngest age for a case of AIDS.
For those who fall within the 15-19 age group, Since 2008, AIDS infections grew from 1-5, HIV infections from 5 to 9, syphilis incidence from 13 to 22 and condyloma infections from 8 to 17.
The above poster addresses the population that needs help the most. It is funny according to some, but its message is far from amusing. The bottom caption translates into: “Be careful, this is what could happen if you don’t wear a condom.”
The word, condom, translated from the Chinese reads: “avoid pregnancy cover” and “safety cover.” In the poster, the word is amusingly referred to as “insurance cover.”
As long as it serves as a warning, Taipei authorities are not concerned about whether those who view the poster are amused or not. Their primary interest lies with the more than 77 percent of teenagers who became infected with STDs via unprotected sex over the course of the last few years.
In this age of “information technology,” what was once considered private and taboo is not only considered half-heartedly acceptable but also inescapably in-the- face advertising.
Taipei authorities are desperate and intent on changing the statistics that are steadily stealing the vitality and long-term health of its youth.
It is hoped this poster will shove its message down the throats of those too busy to listen and unprepared to tackle the consequences of one moment’s unprotected pleasure in exchange for a lifetime of serious, debilitating illness.